Considerable progress was made in understanding gravity waves and their effects in the middle atmosphere during the MAP and MAC periods. During this time, gravity waves were recognized to play a central role in controlling the large scale circulation and the thermal and constituent structure of this region through wave transports of energy and momentum, a significant induced meridional circulation, and through the action of wave induced turbulence. Both theoretical and observational studies also have contributed to the understanding of the gravity wave spectrum, its temporal and spatial variability, and the processes responsible for wave saturation. As a result, the propagation, interactions, and detailed effects of such motions in the middle atmosphere are beginning to be understood. An overview is provided.